Nano Dimension Ltd, an additive manufacturing solutions provider, has received a grant approval from the Israel Innovation Authority for developing hardware, in cooperation with Harris Corporation, that will fly on the International Space Station (ISS) and communicate with Harris’ ground-based satellite tracking station in Florida, USA. This project will provide a systematic analysis of 3D printed materials for radio frequency (RF) space systems, especially for nano-satellites.
The total approved budget for the Israeli portion of this project is approximately US$416,000 (NIS 1,500,000), of which the Israel Innovation Authority will finance 40 percent. According to the terms of the grant, Nano Dimension will pay royalties on future sales up to the full grant amount.
This unique project is being conducted in collaboration with Harris. The Harris portion of the project is sponsored by a grant from Space Florida. During this one-year project, both companies will optimise the designs of the 3D printing process and RF components and prepare a system for the flight studies at the ISS.
This project has been selected by the Centre for the Advancement of Science in Space, the manager of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, to fly the space flight experiment on the ISS, using the team’s 3D printed materials and circuits. In this project, the companies will pioneer the first of a kind space flight experiment that will fly in space at low earth orbit for one year on the ISS, helping to understanding how 3D printed circuits, systems, and materials will endure in various space environments.
This project will demonstrate innovative methods for manufacturing new RF systems. Until now, manufacturing of RF systems has remained static for the last 30 years with each circuit in its own ‘gold box/boxes’ interconnected with cables and connectors. With 3D printing, the industry can explore a new manufacturing paradigm that eliminates manual labour and streamlines production. Another benefit to this technology is a reduction/elimination of wasted material, making it a ‘green’ process.
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